Get ready, Showmax subscribers! The local streaming platform has already produced exceptional original content in the form of series such as ‘Tali’s Wedding Diary’ and ‘The Girl From St Agnes’ and now, they’ve announced that they’ve just started filming their next original series titled ‘Woke In Progress’.
The comedy is set at The Maboneng Marble, where two broke, tryna-be-woke twenty-somethings become unlikely roommates. Having just found out she’s adopted, 22-year-old Martie has come to Joburg searching for her birth parents while 25-year-old Amandla is trying to reconnect with the motherland after decades of following her political elite father between international posts.
Newcomer Laura Lee Mostert has been cast as Martie. She spent 2018 studying in Los Angeles: method acting at Lee Strasberg Institute, whose alumni include Marilyn Monroe and Uma Thurman, and improv at The Groundlings Theatre, whose alumni include Melissa McCarthy and Will Ferrell. Meanwhile, Zandile Lujabe, best known as Palesa in ‘Isidingo’ and Mpho Popp’s love interest Ziyanda in ‘Ayeye’ has been cast as Amandla. Like Mostert, Lujabe also studied acting internationally, at New York Film Academy, whose alumni include Issa Rae.
Other key cast include Kiroshan Naidoo as Christo, a paranoid misanthrope programmer who shares the flat with Martie and Amandla; Lebogang Tlokana (aka The Funny Chef) as the over-entrepreneurial apartment manager, Lerato; Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, the 2016 Comics Choice Newcomer and 2017 Intermediate Award winner as her brother Puma, the receptionist/artist; and SAFTA nominee Yule Masiteng (aka Jomo Zungu in ‘Scandal!’) as the homeless sage who camps outside The Maboneng Marble.
The series is created by 30-year-old showrunner Rea Moeti, who has rapidly made a name for herself since graduating from her Masters at The National Film and Television School in the UK. Her Marikana-themed short film, ‘Mma Moeketsi’, won Best African Short Film at Cape Town, Jozi, and Zanzibar International Film Festivals, and is currently up for an Africa Movie Academy Award. She was also head writer on the first two seasons of ‘Lockdown’, winning the SAFTA for Best Drama Writer. But comedy is Moeti’s first love: she was head writer on SAFTA-winning sitcoms like ‘Ses’Top La’ and ‘Abo Mzala’, as well as a director on the SAFTA-nominated ‘Thandeka’s Diary’ so viewers can be sure that ‘Woke In Progress’ is going to be something spectacular.
“Working on Lockdown was evidence for me that MultiChoice is offering shows that are becoming more and more daring, and that our audience is ready,” says Moeti. “When I first pitched Woke in Progress to Showmax, it was tamer than it is now, because I thought that was what South African platforms wanted. But Showmax has pushed it to go further. So it’s because of Showmax that the girls are as liberated as they are now.”
Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Multichoice’s Connected Video, which houses Showmax and DSTV Now adds that “Our first two scripted Originals – Tali’s Wedding Diary and The Girl From St Agnes – both broke records as the most watched shows on Showmax ever, so we know our audience is hungry for quality South African series. We think they’re going to love laughing with Maboneng’s Afropunk crowd just as much as they did with Talibabes in Sea Point in Tali’s Wedding Diary.”
‘Woke In Progress’ premieres on 12 December 2019 only on Showmax.
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